Children’s Book Award Older Readers Blog Tour Round-up

As this year’s FCBG Children’s Book Award blog tour entered its final leg we were lucky to have been joined by our final three brilliant children’s book bloggers to help us celebrate the books in our Older Readers category.

Don’t worry if you missed any of the posts as here is a roundup of some of the things we’ve been treated to.

This section of the tour began with a post from Amy the Golden Books Girl who told us all about book number 1:

The Light Jar
Written by Lisa Thompson
Published by Scholastic

Amy caught up with Lisa to find out a little more about the book, her writing and what the award means to her.  Here are a couple of highlights.

First of all, can you describe the Light Jar for anyone who hasn’t read it?
Nate and his mum run away from a troubled home one winter’s night. They hide out in a dilapidated cottage at the edge of a wood. His mum goes out for provisions and doesn’t return. Someone Nate hasn’t seen for many years returns just when he needs him… There is a magical element, a mysterious girl in the woods and an age-old treasure map that needs solving.

How do you feel about being nominated for this award? How did you find out, and do you have any traditions when celebrating exciting news?
I am absolutely thrilled! I was nominated last year for The Goldfish Boy and so it feels incredibly special to get a second nomination! Also, awards that are voted for by children are extra special. I think my celebrating tradition usually involves jumping around the house for a bit!

Amy finishes the interview with some brilliant quick fire questions to find out which Lisa’s snack of choice is, her favourite films and which animal she’d most like to be for a day!

You can find the complete blog post here.

The next stop on the blog tour was posted by Minerva Reads and was all about book number 2:

The Storm Keeper’s Island
Written by Catherine Doyle
Published by Bloomsbury

Minerva Reads starts by telling us a little bit about the book and why she loved reading it.

“It tells the story of 11-year-old Fionn Boyle, worrying about his ill mother, his deceased father and his annoying older sister, and transported for the summer onto his grandfather’s island. All is not as it seems, and there is magic within. Doyle is a master at describing bickering siblings, the taste of a summer ice cream, and modern sensibilities, whilst also contrasting with a setting that comes alive with an ancient magic.”

She then spoils us with an in depth interview as she spoke to Catherine Doyle about everything from growing up in Ireland eating Twister ice-creams with her siblings, to how this particular story was born and some of the things from her own life that had an impact on how it took shape.

Here are some of the highlights:

The book is set on the island of Arranmore, a real island, which you’ve imbued with magic. The island feels very real the way you’ve described it – particularly as Fionn approaches it on the ferry. Does familiarity help you write a setting? Did you write the book while on Arranmore?

Arranmore Island is the place where my grandparents were born, grew up and fell in love. It holds the beginning of their story, as well as those of my many sea-faring ancestors, so it has always occupied a very special place in my heart. Arranmore has been such a huge character in my own life, I’m not surprised that it naturally assumed a similar position in Fionn’s story.

How do you feel about being shortlisted for the FCBG Children’s Book Award, voted for entirely by children?

I squealed with delight when I found out! It is an incredibly special feeling to know that The Storm Keeper’s Island has been embraced by children. That not only are they enjoying it, but they’re voting for it. There really is no other word for it – it really is a dream come true.

To read the full blog click here.

The last post of the blog tour was hosted by Victoria from The Book Activist.

Armistice Runner
Written by Tom Palmer
Published by Barrington Stoke

Victoria began by telling us a bit about the book:

“Lily is really fed-up with always finishing her beloved fell-races as a runner-up.  At the end of every race, she just can’t seem to break through the final barrier and push forward for the win. Endlessly frustrated, Lily’s worries are compounded by a visit to her grandparents and being faced with the reality that her wonderful grandmother is suffering with dementia.”

She then explained why she likes this book so much:

“First and foremost this is a fantastic story – moving, engaging, thrilling, insightful – brilliant storytelling at its best.

With a great female protagonist in Lily and an inspirational hero in Ernest, Armistice Runner is the best combination of story, hope and empathy. I would highly recommend it and its place on the Children’s Book Award shortlist is thoroughly deserved.”

And finishes celebrating our final book of the tour with links to the first chapter and more information about the author.

To read the full blog post click here.

Thank you to all four of our star bloggers and to the authors and publishers for their support and assistance in supplying books, quotes, interviews and resources for the posts.

If you have missed any of the Top 10 blog posts and want to catch up then you can find details on our website.  Or tune in on Monday for the final post of the tour which will contain a full round up of all ten blog posts.

You can keep up to date with all things Children’s Book Award by following us on Twitter @CBAcoordinator or check the website www.childrensbookaward.org.uk

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